An Unhealthy Obsession with Vintage

Everything has a history. Even with brand new things, it’s packaging does the story-telling along with where it was made in and what year. This gives off a sense of belonging to some degree, reassurance that the item is worth investing in- financially and emotionally. What of second hand goods?

To my husband’s great dismay, my eye is always wandering for vintage and antique. The range of my interest is wide and the supply scarce where we live. This makes Europe a sort of heaven for me. A highlight for any vacation planned. Walking down any street in any city, no matter how big or small, every second hand store gets my pulse racing, every antique shop mesmerises me instantly and whoever I’m with is dragged inside until I’m duly satisfied. There is something magic about being surrounded by all those artifacts that have had a long life before me. It’s almost like walking among spirits. My imagination runs wild with untold stories of each item and what it could have meant to it’s first owner, was it loved and how did it end up here? It stirs something deep inside me and always has.

It’s about the entire experience as much as it is about the pieces. There’s something about the hunt- not knowing what treasure you might find underneath piles of uncategorised…stuff. The slow examination of each item on each shelf or table top, the intentional control of the eye movement, ensuring nothing is missed yet knowing that the visual sweep will have to take place twice more, just to be doubly sure. And when the eye catches something, that rare find that speaks to the soul, oh the elation. The stars that fill up the widening eyes. The unrehearsed life-stories that come tumbling forth in a torrent of distant melodies. The joy is in the discovery and conquering, or rediscovery, as the case may be. And in those instances when the visit was unsuccessful, instead of disappointment it adds fuel to the fire for the next store, and the store after that.

Yes, I think this is an unhealthy obsession, however I’ve never heard of a healthy one.

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